2012 Local Elections The letters we sent! Wrexham.com was the only media involved in the town to go to this effort.

We here at Wrexham.com sent written letters to all 130 odd candidates in the local Wrexham Council elections this year, and here are the replies! Where there is no reply below from a candidate, we did not receive one before the week of the 23rd April. If you are a candidate or voter reading this join in the debate or let us know what you think in our Wrexham Forums!

Queensway (1 seat)
Harper – Plaid Cymru
Mitchell – Independent
Powell – Welsh Labour
Roberts – Independent

Mitchell – Independent


1 – Which party do you align yourself with, and why? (Or if non aligned, why not?)

I am standing as an independent candidate as I feel I can better serve the residents of the Queensway Ward by not being answerable to any political party. I have always felt that the people should come first and in becoming an independent county borough councillor I can truly be a voice for my community – my neighbours.

2 – What will be your first personal priority or aim if you were elected?

Having been a community councillor for the Whitegate Ward of Caia Park for the last 21 years I am well aware of the needs of the area. I have an excellent track record in helping and supporting the community in many ways and I would endeavour to continue to stand for the needs of the residents of the area in whatever way I can

3 – Why do you personally want to be a councillor when so often you just get blamed for problems beyond your control?

Oh, I’m fairly used to it. Even as a community councillor people often don’t understand the difference between the two tiers of government and I have often been blamed for things out of my control.

4 – Many politicians and local councillors are accused of bring out of touch with voters. What will you do to ensure you stay ‘in touch’?

My community service currently includes being a school governor for both Gwenfro and St Anne’s Schools. I am Founder and Chair of Caia Park Environmental Group, a Founder of the Garden Competition which is now in its 14th year and Chair of Kingsley Circle Community Centre Management Committee. I am also a member of the Community Safety Board, the Wrexham Street Pastors Team and an active member of The Community Church in Wrexham. Interested in the environmental effects of climate change, I was awarded the title of Green Champion of Wales in 2010. As part of her work with the Environmental Group I set up the Community Allotment Plot and the Environmental Bike Project. I was involved in the tree planting project by the River Gwenfro, river cleaning, and was the last Chair of the Sustainability Forum as a result of which Caia Park became the first Fair Trade community council in Wrexham. In addition I helped form the Caia Park Partnership, organised Caia Park Carols at Christmas and am the organiser of the Caia Park Environmental Day and children’s environmental activities. I feel that I can’t be much more “in touch” than that.

5 – How do you plan to tackle or prevent anti-social behaviour in your local area?

Anti-social behaviour is unfortunately part of many of our communities. However I feel that “good neighbourliness” is one of the first steps to limiting the problems. Over the years we have developed quite a network of residents who look out for each other and hopeful this example has and will spread to those who would cause problems.

6 – Do you think any local authority has the means to improve economic and job opportunities? And if you do, what do you think the priority actions should be?

This area is suffering in the same way that many are throughout the country. As a local authority the County Borough needs to continue to work hard to encourage industry and commerce into the area. In many cases this will mean working alongside the Welsh Assembly and national government to provide financial incentives.

7 – What do you think has been the best decision taken by the council in the last four years?

The contribution by the council to the reduction of carbon footprint by the installation of solar panels in its social housing areas.

8 – What do you think has been the worst decision taken by the council in the last four years?

It was a terrific blow when the council closed the civic amenities site in Queensway. Many residents do not have their own transport to be able to get to the site on the Industrial Estate and can be charged up to £25 for the removal of excess refuse

9 – What is your favourite place to visit or favourite thing to do in the local area?

Walking along the River Gwenfro with its wealth of wildlife and having the regular opportunity to lead local people in keeping it clean.

10 – If you had to pick your best memory connected to Wrexham, what would it be?

Caia Park winning the Britain in Bloom Gardens Section in 2011 when nearly one hundred residents took part. In the same year I met the Queen in Llandudno representing the Caia Park Environment Group.

Harper – Plaid Cymru


1 – Which party do you align yourself with, and why? (Or if non aligned, why not?)

Plaid Cymru – Because I want the best for Wales and our communities. The people of Wales are our only priority, unlike the London based parties, we don’t tow any party line from Westminster. My background is in community campaigning, that’s how I became involved with Plaid in Wrecsam, the only party I found active at the grass roots and trying to change things for the better.

2 – What will be your first personal priority or aim if you were elected?

My first personal priority will be fighting to ensure that £11.2 million in council rent that we lose every year to the UK Treasury is returned to the people of Wrecsam. Currently this money is given to poorer performing councils in London and Manchester, we need this money back to upgrade our council housing stock, it would make a huge difference across the borough and also to the ward I represent, Queensway in Caia Park.

3 – Why do you personally want to be a councillor when so often you just get blamed for problems beyond your control?

I want to continue to be a councillor because I know I can make a difference in my community and won’t get sucked into the system, which is important. When you know the people in your ward, they will come to you for help rather than seeing you as part of ‘the council’ or someone to blame, building this relationship and explaining to people that you are there to work for them and fight their conrner is an essential part of the job.

4 – Many politicians and local councillors are accused of bring out of touch with voters. What will you do to ensure you stay ‘in touch’?

It is true to say many politicians are out of touch with voters, although I see my role as vital to ensuring engagement with everyone in the community, including those who do not generally go out and vote. This engagement is the key, since being elected in 2008 I ensure regular communication with the community through regular newsletters and door knocking. I also ensure my contact details go out with every communication so everyone knows exactly how to get hold of me if they need help or have ideas for the ward. I have also invited residents to contact me via Facebook and Twitter and many get in touch this way.

5 – How do you plan to tackle or prevent anti-social behaviour in your local area?

Anti social behaviour is an issue that residents bring up regularly. In terms of addressing this issue in it’s wider context, I have raised residents concerns via the councils Social Affairs Health and Housing scrutiny committee in an attempt to ensure issues are tackled more effectively, more info here: http://wrecsamplaid.blogspot.co.uk/2012/04/anti-social-behaviour.html

6 – Do you think any local authority has the means to improve economic and job opportunities? And if you do, what do you think the priority actions should be?

Yes definitely! We need to ensure council contracts go to local firms, currently this doesn’t happen anywhere near enough. Plaid Wrecsam have already done some work to unbundle large council contracts in order to make it easier for local firms to bid for the work but there is much more that can be done. The council also needs to give more support to small businesses and new business start ups.

7 – What do you think has been the best decision taken by the council in the last four years?

The best decision taken by the council recently was to officially oppose the building 12,000 unaffordable houses in Wrecsam and to oppose the building of these houses on our green fields. The Planning Inspector still has the power to force these houses on us but it is good to see the council backing local opinion and prioritising local need. These current plans will have a huge impact on our town, our infrastructure and our services, we must do everything we can to prevent this from happening.

8 – What do you think has been the worst decision taken by the council in the last four years?

The worst decision taken by the council in the last 4 years was to support the City Status bid and ignore local opinion. This has sent out the message that the consultation process is not a genuine one and did nothing to build a relationship of trust between the council and local people. Plaid Cymru were the only political party to listen to local views and we voted to oppose the bid.

9 – What is your favourite place to visit or favourite thing to do in the local area?

My favourite place to visit is Erddig, I enjoy going out for walks and picnics there with my family.

10 – If you had to pick your best memory connected to Wrexham, what would it be?

My best memory connected to Wrecsam has been to see the huge success of the St Davids Day march, seeing local people come together celebrating their Welsh identity and showing pride in our town is brilliant.


Discuss this with fellow wrexhamites our Wrexham Forums. Other recent threads on the forums include:


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